I Am Sorry, Maa

-Pallavi Buragohain

“Please straighten your seat and open the window shades, ma’am.” The voice of the pretty air hostess interrupted my sleep.

I nodded my head with a smile and did accordingly.

The weather outside seemed pleasant with a light ray of sunlight peeking from behind the clouds. I checked my watch and it was about to be 3 pm.

“I should reach home before it gets dark.” I whispered to myself.

The aircraft touched the ground and my mind started getting anxious. I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself.

Finally, I set my foot on the land that I had left 20 years back. The sun was out from behind the clouds and shining bright with all its might.

I wondered, did it resemble me coming back to my hometown after being in the US for those long stretch of years.

I took a taxi from the airport and headed home.

Every moment felt overwhelming and heavy at the same time. It was almost dusk by the time the taxi dropped me at my gate. I stepped out and there I was!

The place of my birth, my home was in front of my eyes. I unlocked the old door and was welcomed by dusty floors, ceilings filled with spider webs, furniture covered with clothes, and thousands of memories flashing in my mind.

I had this weird urge to shout ‘maa’ from the doorstep like I always did in my childhood.

Don’t we all do the same?

The first thing that most of us do after reaching home is look for our mother. No matter if the other family members are around, it’s the sight of our mother that the heart desires the most.

But there was no one to answer my voice. Mine was a single mother who raised me and my brother all alone. She gave us the best of everything. And I could give her nothing in return!

I remember the day I left home and my mother to be with the person I was deeply in love with. Being from a different religion and culture, nobody in my family was ready to accept him. I had no choice but to stand by my love.

I did come back to seek her blessings after getting married. But she refused to even look at me. I was torn apart and after few days I along with my husband moved to a different country. The only memory I carried with me to US was a beautiful picture of my mother holding me in her lap when I was just a month old.

The day I got the news of my mother’s sudden demise, I held the photograph close to my heart and cried for weeks. The tears dried up but the pain remained the same.

The pain that pierced me inside out had made me travel for miles just to re-live those moments of my childhood and memories of my mother once again. Our abandoned house has got all dusty and messy, but the feeling of home was still lingering in its every corner.

After moving around in the house for a while I was about to step out and lock the door, when something caught my eyes. I lifted it and rubbed off the accumulated dirt from the glass surface. I was amazed to see a copy of the same photograph that I had with me back in the US. My mother had put it in a beautiful frame just as I had done it.

I broke down instantly. “I am sorry, maa,” was all I could utter.


Note: This is a work of fictionAny resemblance to a person living or otherwise may be purely coincidental

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